Kaiser Permanente – Dedicated Plaintiff-Side Employment Attorneys
Kaiser Permanente (or Kaiser) is one of the largest California-based managed care companies. It employs more than 300,000 employees and headquartered in Oakland, California. Although it is a healthcare company, its management had supervisors have been sued for harassment and breaches of the health and safety of its workers. In recent years, lawsuits have alleged employment discrimination after claims were submitted to California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”). The DFEH enforces the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) while the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) enforce Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). These and other laws are in place to protect California employees from workplace harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, and retaliation.
A retaliatory discharged was claimed by a woman who reported sexual harassment and then, after her unit investigated her claims, she was terminated. Supervisors, co-workers and even clients/patients/customers, may not harass any employee when such harassment is known by her management. Unfortunately, Kaiser management neglected to mitigate such harassment leading to those lawsuits. Kaiser has been sued hundreds of times for employment discrimination. Our affiliated attorneys are well aware of the many types of settlements against health care companies for age discrimination, Equal Pay Act violation, Unfair Competition Law violation, hiring discrimination, sexual harassment, gender and sex discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, and other sexual misconduct.
If you are a former or current employee at Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser Foundation, or its medical group, please be aware that there have been many recent settlements holding healthcare companies accountable for a culture filled with bias, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and intimidation. Kaiser may be no different. We continually receive reports of rampant hostile work environment and unlawful wage disparity at local businesses, but each presents unique facts. Call us to discuss your specific scenario.
What are Some Remedies to Successful Employee Plaintiffs?
Successful employee plaintiffs may be awarded greater remedies under state law than federal law. The major differences are interesting when dissected. Title VII limits compensatory and punitive damages based on the size of the employer. The maximum damage award is $300,000. In contrast, there are no caps for damages under California’s FEHA.
California law permits the recovery of attorneys’ fees under the FEHA and other laws. Although the statute states that the court may award fees, a prevailing plaintiff is entitled to fees “unless special circumstances would render such an award unjust.”
California courts rarely award attorneys’ fees to prevailing defendants. A prevailing defendant is entitled to fees under the FEHA only if the plaintiff’s discrimination claim is frivolous, unreasonable, or groundless. Finally, incorrectly labeling employees as exempt can result in up to four years of overtime backpay, plus interest and penalties.
Employers competing in California can take several steps to deal with the employee in a plaintiff-friendly nature of California laws and procedure. One way is to stay abreast of the many California-specific laws. Employers should draft state-specific policies and review them annually or anytime there is a change in the law. Managers and human resources employees should be trained on the policies, and the employers’ actual practices should be consistent with their written policies. Another way is if sued in state court, employers will want to remove the case to federal court. A defendant must generally remove within 30 days of service of the initial pleading.
Employers must assess potential damages. If involved in litigation, employers must accurately assess the possible damages award as litigation progresses. Properly valuating the risk exposure will help employers prepare for alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation. Employers should consider allocating time and resources, including expert witnesses, to contest a plaintiff’s alleged damages.
Stephen Danz and Associates’ affiliated employment attorneys handle cases solely on behalf of local employees who have experienced labor law violations such as discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, unequal pay, and retaliation. Our experienced and dedicated attorneys understand the client needs to protect his or her rights and income as well as the ability to continue to work. When you trust us with your case, we represent you and your interests with confidence and transparency. Our reputation speaks for itself as we tirelessly work to represent your employment interests so that your professional and financial futures are protected.
We devote our practice to fighting for workers’ rights. Employment law in California is a specialized area and cases are hard-fought. Therefore, having the one of the largest employee-side law firms on your side is critical. If you are in California and searching for attorneys that are both experienced and aggressive, look no further and contact one of our offices. When encountering discrimination, wrongful termination, or retaliation in the workplace, many California employees have turned to our attorneys for guidance. In turn, we represent employees throughout California in their fight against employers that have taken advantage of their upper hand. Our attorneys cover cities in Northern California and Southern California as the State’s courts are as specialized and diverse as the State’s landscape.